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Laura Harvey

Art Foundation

Laura Harvey

When did you study at CSVPA and what programme did you study?
I came to CSVPA in 2005 for the Art Foundation course and I specialised in Fashion Design. After completing this I progressed onto Kingston University where I furthered my studies in Fashion.

What did you do after finishing your degree at Kingston University?
I started off as a Design Assistant at Boden, who are online Fashion Retailer. I was then promoted to Junior Designer and then Designer. After my time at Boden I moved to Burberry as one of their Designers before moving to Joules as a Senior Designer and more recently I've come back to Boden as their Creative Director.

Looking back did you value your time you spent at CSVPA, if so why?
Actually - I probably joined the course with a rather inflated opinion of myself and my abilities. "I knew I wanted to do fashion, I knew I could draw, and what else could I possibly learn from a foundation year?" As it happens an awful lot.

Looking back I realised just how much I had advanced in that year, how much more I had been exposed to. I came away with skills and knowledge that were so crucial to my development. Many of those skills I still refer back to on a daily basis.

What makes CSVPA so special and unique compared to the other experiences and training you faced after leaving the school and why was that important to you?
Cambridge as a place is wonderful, to be surrounded by such beautiful architecture and interesting people was a very inspiring experience in itself, and the course is brilliant. It covers such a wide range of disciplines, it's quite unique.

You have the opportunity to gain experience in areas that other colleges simply don't offer. It was only after leaving Cambridge that I realised how lucky I was to receive such high levels of support and contact time with tutors.

In what ways did CSVPA help you get onto the career path you followed?
My foundation year set me up for my next step - which was university. With the support of CSVPA I was accepted onto a very competitive fashion degree course at Kingston. Had I have not been accepted onto that course getting into industry would have been much more difficult. When a CV lands on a potential employer's desk, the first thing they are looking at is the institutions where you were trained.

What would you say to a student who is looking to follow a similar career pathway to you?
The same thing I was told by my Head of Design when I was at Kingston - it's not the really talented people who succeed, it's a combination of talent and lots of hardwork.

What would you say to a student who is thinking of coming to study at CSVPA?
For anyone making the decision to go into design I would stress that it is a very competitive arena, you have to be dedicated and really want it. But CSVPA is an incredible place to learn and Cambridge is a very inspiring city. Studying at CSVPA will provide a great springboard to the next stage of your career.